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Issue:- 24 March 2010

Southport Named Loudest Conference Destination in North

SOUTHPORT Conferences has been dubbed the loudest region in the North following its visit to event industry trade show International Confex earlier in the month over 1 March to 3 March 2011. The team took part in a ‘loudest shout’ Guinness World Record attempt along with around 750 other exhibitors and visitors from all over the country. Although, the world record was not beaten, Southport was rated the loudest destination in the North measuring 117.8 decibels, just short of the loudest destination in the UK, which went to Visit Devon at 119.6 decibels.

Southport Conferences received several positive enquiries from its time at the show, with organisations looking to bring their conferences and events to the town. On this interest, Sammi Rudge, Business Tourism Development Officer commented;- “We generated some very strong leads, whilst at International Confex, the quality of which were really high. We also found it a useful forum to meet many London based contacts, people that we have spoken to on the phone, but actually came away from the show with enquiries from.”

Earlier this week, a team from Southport Conferences took part in a sponsored ‘slotathon’ on the Pier’s Penny Arcade Museum to help raise awareness of British Tourism Week. The annual campaign aims to raise local, regional, national and international awareness of the size, value and importance of Britain's £115 billion visitor economy.


UNISON, the UK¹s largest union, reacted angrily to news that the Government is freezing pay for all NHS workers, except those earning below £21,000, calling it 'a bitter blow' for hardworking staff including nurses, paramedics and therapists.

The union dismissed the £250 for those earning under £21,000 such as cleaners, healthcare assistants, cooks, porters and switchboard staff as a totally inadequate token gesture. The increase is below inflation and with the cost of everyday essentials rising, it will be wiped out very quickly.

UNISON is holding its health conference next month in Liverpool where it is widely expected that delegates will vote to reject attempts to reduce pay, as well as pledging to fight back to preserve jobs and services.

The NHS Pay Review Body was hide-bound by the Government¹s pay freeze diktat across the public sector and the union warned that staff are already angry over Government interference with the independence of the PRB and the decision will rile health workers further.  To add to health workers problems the pay freeze comes hard on the heels of increased pensions contributions in the recent Hutton report.

Mike Jackson, Senior National Officer for Health, said:- "The Government¹s decision to freeze pay is another bitter blow for hard-working NHS staff.  The squeeze on NHS finance is already placing a heavy burden on health workers. They see jobs being cut, operations cancelled or delayed and patients suffering as a result.  It is completely unjust for the Government to make nurses, paramedics, therapists and skilled NHS staff the fall guys for the financial crisis brought down on the country by the bankers.  The £250 is a totally inadequate token gesture designed to salve the conscience of coalition MPs. They know that health workers did not cause the crisis, that inflation is going up and that families, already struggling with mounting debts and rising inflation, will suffer because of their decision.  I expect widespread anger over pay at UNISON¹s Health Conference next month. The job cuts, cancelled operations and longer waiting times are deeply distressing for health workers and the pay freeze is likely to be the final straw."

Consultation over social care criteria

CONSULTATION is starting over a review of eligibility criteria for adult social care in Liverpool.  The city council currently provides services to people who are judged to have moderate, substantial and critical needs.  Under new proposals, people with moderate needs would not be eligible for funding.  Liverpool is proposing to remove the banding due to spending pressures which means it has to find a total of £91 million savings from its overall budget. The council wants to invest in services which prevent people falling ill and keeps them fit and healthy in their own homes without the need for local authority funded support. Where people do need help, the emphasis will be on what are known as:- “reablement” services – short term assistance to get them back to a level where they don’t need ongoing support.

A series of consultation events are being held for staff, care providers and service users and their relatives over the next few weeks to explain more about what the changes will mean, and how people will be affected.  2 public meetings for anyone affected will be held at LACE Conference Centre in Sefton Park on Friday 1 April from 10am to midday and 1pm to 3pm.  It will give people the opportunity to meet with officers, see a short presentation and then take part in a question and answer session. A copy of the consultation document and questionnaire will be available.  Due to capacity issues, places are limited and must be booked on a first come, first served basis by calling:- 0151 233 4640 / 2819 / 4644.

Councillor Roz Gladden, cabinet member for adult social care, said:- “I fully understand and appreciate that people will be concerned and apprehensive about how the removal of the moderate care band could affect them. We have had to make some tough, difficult and heartbreaking choices in order to protect services for the most vulnerable due to the significant reductions in our budget. Removing the moderate care band will enable us to continue directing support at those who are most in need. We will also be investing in prevention to help people avoid entering the care system, and helping people regain independence after illness or an operation. We are keen to hear people’s views and make sure we provide as much information and support as possible.”

Around 1,400 people currently receive moderate social care support in Liverpool. Each person’s situation will be fully reviewed by a social worker before any decision is made over what happens to their current support package.  In some cases, people will move up into the substantial category, while others will be judged not to require support any more because they have regained their independence.  People no longer eligible for support would be given information and help to find alternative support and in some cases, help to get additional benefits to pay for this.  For people who are not able to make the meeting on Friday, 1 April 2011, a consultation document and questionnaire can be downloaded from:-  or by emailing:-  The consultation runs until 13 June 2011, and all of the feedback will be fed into a report to the council’s Cabinet which will make a final decision in the summer.

Foster Carers Needed!

FOSTERING Solutions, a Merseyside based independent foster care agency, is holding an informal information day at the offices at 397 Smithdown Road, Wavertree, L15 3JJ on the following dates:- Saturday, 26 March 2011, Wednesday, 13 April 2011 and Saturday, 30 April 2011, from 10am to 4pm. Anyone who wishes to know more about this rewarding work is welcome to attend to have a chat and meet the staff. Please look at their website or call Carer Recruitment Team on:- 08453 700 500 for more information.

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